The protagonist of Cat Quest 3 on a beach called "Purrier Beach"
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Cat Quest 3 Preview Impressions: Purromising Pirate Cat Adventures

The Cat Quest series is back with its third installment. Here's our impressions of the upcoming game.

Cat Quest 3 brings the action-RPG series to the cat pirate golden age, following a “purrivateer” on their quest to find the North Star. Players navigate a map of “the Purribeans” and, besides occasional intrusion in caves and castles, take out their “pi-rat” enemies directly on that map. The use of a nautical map as the background of most of the game’s action is an inspired choice, and its consequences reverberate through the entire preview.

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For one, this choice makes everything go by fast, and nothing overstays its welcome. Fights and treasure hunts are over in seconds, while some diversions like dungeons and caves take longer, breaking up the pacing. Unfortunately, the preview skews strongly towards the shorter encounters. Large sections of the game blend in a confused slop of fights, puzzles, and exploration. I can’t say there’s no variation in the action, and each of those activities is fun on its own, but they last seconds each with no pause in between, making the whole rather confusing.

Cat Puns and Snarky Kittens

The protagonist of Cat Quest 3 on an island, solving a puzzle.
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Pirate Cats is the name of the game. In practice, this means two things: cat puns and kittens making an angry face. Those might sound like details, but they’re vital to the presentation of Cat Quest 3. A non-intimidating roar by a rival purrivateer is all the context you get before a new fight, at least most times. If you can’t deal with constant puns, Cat Quest 3 might not be for you.

That isn’t to say there isn’t a story in here. Captain Cappey, a helpful spirit that does all the walking for the hero, might not have the protagonist’s best intention at heart. It’s hard to say if this will form the basis for a competent story since the preview only covers a few hours. That said, if you come in without expecting much of a story, you might be pleasantly surprised by what’s actually on offer.

Some side quests are surprisingly heartful. A good number of one-off NPCs, the kind to remain unnamed in a lesser game, are given a simple but robust backstory that ties into their quests. The actual characters seem charming, though it’s hard to say how developed they will be from just the preview. And even though the protagonist doesn’t talk, their facial expression says it all. It’s the stone-cold malicious cat emoji, “>:3”, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Playing Cat Quest 3

A ship battle between a pirate and the protagonist of Cat Quest 3.
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Cat Quest 3 is extremely simple as an action game and even easier as an RPG. One button attacks and three attacks do a combo. As for defense, players can dodge away from danger. With the right equipment, they might even be able to block. Another button swaps between ranged and melee attacks, but the first ones recharge so slowly to make them a de-facto backup weapon. Finally, there’s magic. Magic recharges with melee attacks and is, at least in the demo, only offensive. The action is certainly simple, as one would expect from a game like this, but the difficulty did ramp up toward the end of the preview.

The RPG elements seem like more of a mixed bag. Stats influence the power of weapons and spells. They can be improved by equipping certain pieces of gear. But as far as I saw, there’s rarely a reason not to equip the highest-level gear available on every inventory slot. You can pay to augment the level of gear, but I rarely found it worth the effort, especially since the stat improvements don’t change that much. Weapons might be a different story, as their move set and special abilities change significantly, but it remains to be seen how the full release will use them.

Cat Quest 3 – The Bottom Line

All in all, Cat Quest 3 might be shaping up to be a light-hearted and refreshing action RPG. It remains to be seen whether the team can make something special out of those very simple ingredients, but I’m hopeful they can. Cat Quest 3 comes out on August 8, 2024, on Steam, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/X.

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Diana Croce
Diana is a freelance Gaming Writer for GameSkinny and loves all kinds of stories, even though she’s too lazy for most things that aren’t games. She likes writing about the smaller, unique indie games that slip through the cracks, and she's been doing so since 2022.